By Emma Prestwich
The real Eggy the Ram has been dead for 19 years, but in the name of school spirit, some Ryerson students want to resurrect him.
A group of film and radio and television students are campaigning to bring back a live Eggy mascot for school sporting events. Yelling “What’s the deal, make him real,” a small cluster of students led a procession around Victoria and Gould Streets on Thursday afternoon trying to drum up support for the idea.
“It would differentiate us from other schools,” said Todd Edick, a thirdyear RTA student who calls himself the face of the campaign. “[School spirit] is lacklustre at best.”
Edick said he currently has 70 student signatures on a petition.
Beginning in 1961, Ryerson owned a succession of six live rams — male sheep — that made an appearance at events like the Parade & Picnic, convocation and hockey games. Four of the six ram heads are stored in the Ryerson archives.
Eggy V died in 1991 and a year later, because of pressure from the Humane Society, Ryerson switched to the current plush mascot.
Glen Weppler, director of student community life, said that while there was a time when live mascots were popular, he thinks that the current Eggy is animated and very popular with students.
“I don’t think there’s a desire on the part of the student population to have a real live ram,” he said.
Edick said the issue of replacing the current mascot with a real one could be decided by a student vote. Past issues with the real ram included controlling the animal’s behaviour in public and preventing it from being stolen.
“It seems like the ram would be in a state of trauma,” said Todd Dunbar, a second-year arts and contemporary studies student. “What if it lashed out or something?”
A 1977 issue of the Eyeopener quoted Louis Gonsalves, then-director of alumni affairs, as saying that Eggy had to be tranquilized every time he was brought to Ryerson for a function.
“When the tranquilizer wore off, he’d take the odd run at people,” he said.
In November of 1980, Eggy III spent the weekend alone in a fashion department bathroom after he was kidnapped in a suspected practical joke. Edick said if the initiative succeeds, the ram will come from Puck’s Farm, an educational children’s farm in Schomberg, about 25 kilometres from Newmarket.
Past rams were housed at a farm in the GTA and trucked over to Ryerson.
Photo: Brad Whitehouse